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I was so taken by the photos in this book that I tracked down Rosanne Olson's web site. She is certainly an accomplished photographer. Great portraits. I would certainly like to see another book from her. I envy the idea behind this book. She carried it out so well.
Honesty about being comfortable with themselves the way they are, this book shows, through photography and words, what many women have come to terms with within themselves, and not what society feeds us. This is a great book that demonstrates that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to be ok with who we are.
Got this book to start talking about body image with my 7 year old daughter. Love that the pictures are accompanied by stories. Not all the stories are appropriate reading for a kid--definitely some adult themes--but for my purpose the book was perfect to start the conversation. I think she will deeply appreciate the stories as a teenager, but glad we are talking about this now.
Truly a lovely book - very affirming and uplifting for women of all ages and body types. This book gently demonstrates the importance of considering the whole Woman, body-mind-spirit-soul-essence.
Our society has so objectified women's bodies that we consider it a high complement to be told we're thin or that we look as though we've lost weight - how superficial is that?!?!? Health can be found naturally at different weights, with different shapes and body types. Too many women today torture themselves in an attempt to achieve the unrealistic fantasy of what a woman's body "ought" to look like. It reminds me of the foot-binding in ancient China - we see that now as horrific, but at the time it was the height of beauty, style and fashion. How long until we look back on this age of glorifying the artificial and unnaturally thin with the same horror?
This book affirms acceptance and joy for natural, real bodies of all types. It's absolutely not for folks seeking the artificial, unnatural, airbrushed, ideals of perfection for a woman's body as dictated by most of society today.
Recommended for all women and girls, plus those men who honor and admire the realistic female body in all of it's incarnations.
This book arrived in excellent condition. It is a beautiful book, and really conveys how these women perceive their bodies. It was very brave of them to pose for these beautiful photos and tell their stories. Helps me be more accepting of my own body. I find it doesn't matter if you're skinny or obese, women don't tend to love the bodies they have.
The photos are artistically taken, and the photographer has allowed the women to pose as they chose. Very glad that I purchased this book.
I've read through more than a few photo/portrait books these last few years, and have to say that this book is one of the BEST, hands down. The portraits are well done, as you would expect from a professional photog, but what grabs your attention is the variety. The stories that accompany each entry are poignant and evocative.
I would highly recommend this book to any one in need.... of a wakeup, of succor in times of self doubt, an affirmation....
That model on the cover, Dana, could you ever believe that she has doubts about her loveliness? Her brief blurb about herself sounds far less than certain about the incredible beauty of a perfectly ordinary woman like her. That is a crime and a tragedy, one that this collection confronts directly.
The models range from 19 to 95, with every decade between represented. Constance, age 80, peers back at the viewer with an elfin smile. Kia, at 37, stares off with a gaze that seems far older than her face and figure. Moods of the other models range in every direction. Emily, an archetype of blonde slederness, battles betrayal by her body as genetic lung disease takes its toll on her. Mothers and mothers-to-be bring children to the images they use to define themselves. Beautiful women from East Asian families talk about how they were too tall, or curvy, or tawny, or strong to be worth a second look back home - what a difference a continent makes!
Beauty does not mean being pretty, although the two do appear together some times. Instead, it's about the varied and complicated lives people live, and about the figures and features from every corner of the human planet. It's about all of people's ages too. I wish all women happy loves in their lives, however long they live. For that to happen, the woman and the one who loves her must love her look at every age, and after every demand on her body. This book is really about loving all those looks.
I bought this for a friend. We saw it in a bookstore when we were traveling and were both instantly drawn to it. As women who have grown up in a media saturated culture, and now as mothers of young daughters, we are both intensely aware of the unrealistic models all men and women have of beauty. When my 8-year-old asked me the other day if she was "fat," I knew I needed to be more explicit and thoughtful in giving her more representative images of beauty. This book is a great start! Before I gave it to my friend, my daughter and I looked through it together. After the giggles and the discomfort with bodies of all shapes and sizes, bodies that were whole, and those that were not, we had a wonderful discussion of bodies, spirits and beauty. The stories that go with the pictures are inspiring and thought provoking. The message in here: we are all beautiful! After looking at the book and talking, my daughter commented on a magazine model that she looked funny - like she wasn't real. Awesome! I am ordering one for my coffee table that my daughter AND my son can see.
I first heard Ms. Olson's audio interview, and saw a snippet of her work on LensWork. I was quite impressed. I purchased her book and have gone through it three times now with utter amazement at the words by the women and the beautiful and pure images that she has captured. I have since purchased her book for two of my sisters and two of my dearest friends. I know that they will enjoy this masterpiece of hers as much as I have. I am in the health care industry and photography is a passion of mine. Ms. Olson strikes the chord on both of these notes. The strength of the women in these photos shine through every frame as does their words of courage and encouragement. Every one of them, to include Ms. Olson, I commend because you have provoked thought, and maybe more importantly questions, we should ponder with others. I will definitely continue to share this gift that they have given us with family and friends.